CORNWALL – The city’s budget committee has chopped the first item from the capital budget – a $250,000 study on changing the Rotary Traffic Circle to a roundabout.
The study was removed in a vote of 7-4. Those against removing it were budget chairman Denis Carr and councillors Carilyne Hebert, Bernadette Clement and Elaine MacDonald.
The first cut from the capital budget was suggested by Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy. He said members of the public he has heard from are “insulted” that city officials thought they would be confused by having a traffic circle and a roundabout within the city limits.
There are two roundabouts proposed for Lemay Street, which have a different set of rules than traffic circles.
“Spending $250,000 on a study, people say you’re crazy,” Coun. Claude McIntosh said. McIntosh says he’s spoken with police, who have indicated to him that there isn’t a safety issue with the circle, other than painting of lines.
“People see this as a waste of money whether it’s financed or not. There’s nothing wrong with it,” Coun. Justin Towndale said.
“We are one of the last municipalities to have a traffic circle in Ontario,” Infrastructure Division Manager Michael Fawthrop said.
Cornwall and Hamilton, Ont. are the two communities to have traffic circle, he believed.
Fawthrop said the study, which is required by the Ontario government to change the traffic circle, was being done in order to tap into funding from the Ontario Connecting Links program.
The city has been the benefit of Connecting Links before – it received $3 million in 2016 to reconstruct the Brookdale Avenue overpass, north of Tollgate Road.
A future council may revisit the issue.